Author: Jessica Mabuza

Jessica aims to be first to bring the news on industry updates, while her finance background informs her insights on how broader economic trends affect the jewellery trade

The French Ministry of Economy and Finance has taken a step to standardize the terminology for lab-grown diamonds by introducing “synthetic” as the official term. This change seeks to unify the various terms previously in use, like “lab-grown” or “cultivated,” for diamonds created through artificial processes. WFDB’s Reaction The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) supports this decision, seeing it as an essential step in differentiating the value of natural diamonds. Yoram Dvash, President of the WFDB, stated, “By endorsing the use of ‘synthetic,’ the French government aims to eliminate ambiguity and ensure consumers can make informed choices based on…

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Pandora, widely accepted as the world’s largest jewellery brand, has announced a significant shift in its supply chain strategy by exclusively sourcing recycled silver and gold for its jewellery production. This change reflects the company’s initiative to reduce its environmental footprint and aligns with broader industry trends towards sustainability. Environmental Impact Reduction By choosing recycled over newly mined metals, Pandora aims to decrease its CO2 emissions by approximately 58,000 tons per year. This effort contributes to the reduction of the environmental impact associated with metal mining, which is known for its high energy and resource requirements. Pandora’s CEO, Alexander Lacik,…

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The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has played a pivotal role in assisting the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) in recovering two diamonds, part of a larger theft of six jewelry pieces from a home in Colorado in June 2023. The total value of the stolen items was reported to exceed $475,000. The recovery led to an arrest, facilitated by the GIA’s identification of the two diamonds, which were submitted for grading by a wholesale diamond dealer who was not involved in the theft. GIA’s Consumer Protection Efforts Christina Yates, GIA’s associate general counsel, highlighted the institute’s commitment to aiding…

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LVMH’s Chaumet has been selected to design the official medals for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, introducing a novel approach by incorporating material from the Eiffel Tower into the medals’ design. Utilizing the Eiffel Tower’s Iron For the first time, original iron from the Eiffel Tower is being used in the creation of Olympic and Paralympic medals. This material choice links each medal directly to a key symbol of Paris. The iron, originally brown, has been returned to its natural color and shaped into a hexagon that reflects the tower’s structure. This element is central to the design…

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In a significant move, De Beers announced a notable reduction in rough diamond prices during their recent sightholders meeting. This strategic adjustment involves cuts ranging from 10% to as much as 25% for certain diamond categories, signaling one of the most substantial pricing shifts in the company’s recent history. Breakdown of Price Adjustments The scale of the reductions varies across different segments of the diamond inventory. Diamonds under 0.75 carats are now priced 5% to 10% lower. The 0.75 to 2 carat diamonds have seen average reductions of 10% to 15%, while those over 2 carats are subject to a…

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The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) recently acknowledged Mr. Tehmasp Printer, CEO of the International Gemological Institute (IGI), for his impactful contributions to the industry. With over 24 years at IGI, including his tenure as CEO since last year, Printer has been instrumental in advancing the institute’s global influence. IGI’s Global Influence and Services IGI, with its 30 laboratories and 19 educational facilities, has played a pivotal role in the global gem and jewellery landscape for over 45 years. The institute offers a range of services, including diamond grading, coloured stone grading, jewelry identification, and appraisal, catering to…

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The International Gemological Institute (IGI) has recently revealed a significant case of diamond fraud. A 6.01 carat pear-cut diamond, initially believed to be natural due to its inscription, was identified as a lab-grown stone. This discovery highlights a growing concern in the jewellery industry regarding the differentiation and accurate representation of lab-grown and natural diamonds. The Discovery Process IGI’s analysis unveiled that the gemstone, inscribed with a grading report number matching a natural diamond, was in fact lab-created. The examination involved advanced techniques like photoluminescence spectroscopy, which exposed Silicone Vacancy (SiV) defects indicative of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) process…

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The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) hosted its 16th annual research meeting at its global headquarters in Carlsbad, California, bringing together over 100 participants. This assembly included GIA researchers, esteemed academics, independent industry experts, and GIA Governors and executives. The three-day event, held from 1-3 November, focused on the latest gemological research and technological advancements Pioneering Research for Consumer Protection Tom Moses, GIA’s Executive Vice President and Chief Laboratory and Research Officer, emphasized the centrality of rigorous independent research to GIA’s mission. He stated, “Rigorous independent research is at the centre of GIA’s activities and is vital to our consumer…

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Angola has officially commenced diamond mining at the Luele project, which represents a significant milestone for the country and adds to the world’s most substantial diamond resources​​. This mine is expected to be the largest diamond mining project to come online this decade, with an estimated resource of 628 million carats and a projected operational lifespan of 60 years​​​​. Located adjacent to the Catoca mine in northeastern Angola, Luele, previously known as Luaxe, is poised to enhance Angola’s status as a key player in the global diamond industry​​. Production Goals With an initial processing capacity of 4 million metric tons…

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After prolonged discussions, the European Commission appears to be moving closer to implementing a significant ban on the import of diamonds from Russia. This measure, part of a wider series of sanctions that include an oil price cap, marks the 12th sanctions package aimed at Moscow. With discussions underway, this proposal seeks unanimous approval from all 27 EU member states and could be finalised in the coming weeks. Set to be effective from January 1, 2024, the ban specifically targets direct imports of Russian diamonds. A critical component of the sanctions includes the establishment of a traceability mechanism from March.…

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In its ninth cycle of sales for 2023, the De Beers Group reported a provisional rough diamond sales value of $80 million. This figure, subject to final adjustments, compares with $200 million in actual sales for Cycle 8 of 2023 and a significantly higher $454 million in the corresponding cycle of the previous year. These numbers reflect the ongoing volatility in the diamond market. CEO’s Market Analysis Al Cook, CEO of De Beers Group, commented on the current economic climate’s impact on the diamond sector. “Macro-economic challenges continue to affect the diamond sector. The retail recovery in China remains slow.…

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The UAE is set to chair the Kimberley Process in 2024, with the vice-chair role commencing in 2023. This decision, made at the Kimberley Process Plenary in Botswana, highlights the UAE’s growing role in the international diamond industry. Implications for Jewellers This role may provide stability and continuity during market uncertainties, as expressed by Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and CEO of DMCC: “The Kimberley Process is a global body that strives to enable trade to flourish in a safe and stable environment so that all participants and their dependent societies can benefit to the full… we are committed to…

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Tiffany & Co. has announced the launch of its latest jewelry collection, Tiffany Forge. The collection, crafted from sterling silver, is inspired by the idea that every individual forges their own unique path in life, while an open-link design motif throughout the collection draws inspiration from designs found in the Tiffany Archives. This new collection pays homage to Tiffany & Co.’s longstanding tradition of crafting sterling silver pieces, a material deeply rooted in the brand’s history. Notably, over a hundred years ago, Tiffany & Co. established the U.S. standard for sterling silver purity. The signature open-link motif of the Tiffany…

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A significant breakthrough has been achieved with the recent arrest of a 25-year-old suspect, believed to be connected to a series of high-profile jewellery store robberies that transpired across South Africa. The apprehension occurred in Gauteng, and might pave the way for disentangling the organised crime networks believed to be behind these robberies=. The arrest of this individual seems to be the culmination of ongoing investigations following a notable heist incident in Gqeberha. Previous Heists and Arrests Last month witnessed a brazen R1 million jewellery heist at a mall in Sherwood, Gqeberha, which led to the arrest of 10 individuals.…

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JCK has been honored with the title of the “Greatest Show of 2022” by Trade Show Executive’s Gold 100 at an event held in San Diego in September. The award is a recognition of JCK’s outstanding contributions to the trade show industry and its excellence in providing a platform to connect, engage and explore the latest trends and innovations in the jewellery sector. Organized by RX, JCK 2022 was a return to form – showcasing outstanding attendance, effective marketing strategies and robust sales – driving the event to beat budgets and exceed the attendance figures of 2019 pre-Covid. This remarkable…

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Parisian jeweler FRED, a unit of luxury group LVMH, has introduced its first synthetic blue diamonds, named FRED Audacious Blue. Known for its elegant and exquisite creations, the brand has ventured into the realm of lab-grown diamonds, marking a significant shift in its product offerings. Limited-Edition Collection The brand has released a limited-edition collection consisting of just four jewelry pieces, each containing a 0.50-carat blue lab-grown diamond in the brand’s proprietary Fred Hero Cut. Additionally, a loose 8.88-carat synthetic diamond of the same colour and cut has been unveiled. All five stones are fancy-vivid greenish-blue, have VS clarity or higher,…

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Antwerp-based International Gemological Institute (IGI), part of the Blackstone portfolio, has announced a significant leadership change that will mark the beginning of a new era for the organisation. Roland Lorie, who served as the CEO for nearly five decades, will step down and be succeeded by Tehmasp Printer as the Global CEO, effective October 1, 2023. Lorie’s tenure has been marked by the creation of the largest network of gemological laboratories and schools across the globe, cementing IGI’s position as a leading certification authority for natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds, coloured stones, and finished jewellery. Tehmasp Printer: A Seasoned Leader Printer…

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The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has recently evaluated a 4.04-carat ring made entirely from a single lab-grown diamond. This significant milestone in the world of carved single-crystal diamond rings has implications for the UK jewellery industry, reflecting advancements in lab-grown diamond technology and potential shifts in consumer preferences. A Significant Milestone The Ring’s Characteristics The ring, fashioned from a single-crystal CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) laboratory-grown diamond, represents a significant development in the field of lab-grown diamonds. While not the first of its kind, it is the first time GIA has evaluated a ring carved from a single laboratory-grown diamond.…

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De Beers Group has released its interim financial results for the first half of 2023. The report highlights key developments in production, sales, and market trends, providing insights into the current state of the diamond industry. Key Financial Highlights Production and Sales Regional Performance Market Insights The report highlights the high levels of polished diamond inventory coming into 2023 and the impact of macro-economic headwinds on rough diamond demand. The anticipated rebound in Chinese demand was affected by a large wave of COVID-19 infections, dampening consumer confidence. The softening in demand and higher financing costs have put profitability under strain.…

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In a remarkable testament to South African talent and tenacity, Johannesburg jeweller Nqobile Nkosi has been spotlighted on the Brand South Africa website, an initiative dedicated to showcasing and uplifting the country’s standing in the global arena. Born and raised in Soweto, Nkosi’s post-matric ambitions to study electrical engineering were thwarted by financial constraints, a reality all too familiar for many of our young people. However, an opportunity in jewellery studies, backed by a bursary, set him on an unexpected path. Nkosi embraced the craft, further honing his skills with an internship in the UK before establishing NQ Jewellery in…

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Gemological Science International (GSI) has announced the completion of its first advanced gemology program, the Colored Stone Professional Program. This 14-week diploma program, run at GSI’s Jaipur, India campus, welcomed students from across India. “It feels nostalgic to see students graduating from an institution like GSI, which provides a recent and detailed curriculum in an internationally made facility,” says Ms. Sunita Shekhawat, an accomplished Indian jewellery designer known for her intricate craftsmanship and revival of traditional meenakari techniques. Shekhawat adds, “The students using gemology as their base should showcase Indian culture and art when they design gemstone jewellery”. Dr K.L…

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In the world of jewellery sales, understanding your customers is paramount to success. But who are your customers, really? As diverse as they are, most customers can be grouped into four basic types: This categorisation can offer invaluable insights into their buying behaviour and help you tailor your sales approach. This article delves into these customer types and provides tips for effectively selling to each. The Price Buyer: Competitive Cost is Key Price Buyers are customers driven primarily by cost. Their quest for the best deal often makes them less brand loyal; they’ll compare prices across different retailers to ensure…

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Jewellery, especially high-value items, is rarely an impulse purchase. Customers often take time to consider their options, explore various designs, styles, and price points before making a decision. So, when a visitor comes to your website for the first time, it’s unlikely they will make a purchase straight away. This is where a digital sales funnel can come into play. What is a sales funnel? A sales funnel, in essence, represents the journey a potential customer takes from their first interaction with your brand to the final purchase. It’s called a ‘funnel’ because, much like a real-world funnel, the number…

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Trade show season is coming up and, when done correctly, can play a crucial role in the success of businesses, providing a unique opportunity to interact with potential clients and industry peers. With shows like Pure, the Jewellery Show being one of the most highly anticipated events, standing out amidst a sea of competitors can be a challenging task. Participating in these events can significantly enhance brand visibility, generate sales, and forge strong customer relationships. However, to reap these benefits, it’s vital to set clear, realistic objectives. Whether it’s lead generation, enhancing brand awareness, or driving sales, defining your goals…

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The nearing coronation of King Charles III has reignited discussions concerning the Cullinan diamonds, particularly the “Star of Africa” housed in the British crown jewels. These diamonds were excavated in South Africa in 1905 and subsequently gifted to King Edward VII. The largest cut, known as the “Star of Africa” or “First Star of Africa,” is housed in the Sovereign’s Scepter with Cross, while other cuts are placed in the Imperial State Crown and other royal items. Call for Return A petition spearheaded by Johannesburg lawyer and activist, Mothusi Kamanga, has amassed over 8,000 signatures. The petition urges King Charles…

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New York, NY – In an effort to harness increasing consumer demand and sustain the prosperity of the natural diamond industry, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) has announced a new partnership with the Natural Diamond Council (NDC). This collaboration represents a proactive move in response to shifting market dynamics and a growing need for industry cohesion. Alongside an initial financial investment, the partnership will focus on strategic initiatives to expand the reach and influence of natural diamond values. The WFDB, with its member bourses and individual members, aims to provide wider exposure for natural diamonds and leverage their…

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The Met Gala 2023 was not just about the clothes – the jewelry worn by the attendees was equally as stunning. The event, which was dedicated to the late Karl Lagerfeld, saw celebrities and fashionistas adorned with pieces that reflected Lagerfeld’s love for pearls and fine jewelry, and served as testament to the transformative power of accessories in creating unforgettable looks. We take you through our top 5 looks below. Dua Lipa’s Legendary Tiffany & Co Diamond Necklace As one of the event chairs, Dua Lipa was expected to shine, and she did just that. The singer wore an eggshell-colored…

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Launching your new online jewellery store in todays internet driven society is the relatively easy bit. The real work begins when you aim to attract traffic, engage your customers, and clinch those crucial sales. It’s a dynamic world out there – the ebb and flow of consumer behaviour and social media trends make it quite the challenge. This is our first steps SEO guide, the must haves to get your company getting traffic and being found online. First up: What is SEO? SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is a set of strategies and techniques aimed at improving your jewellery store’s…

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